Sandwiched Between Omens of Discord and Rum, the Infamous Mrs. Loring Announces Marriage Vows

Elizabeth Lloyd Loring, said to be General Howe's mistress

in about Warren

“…At a Meeting of Freeholders and other Inhabitants of this Town on Wednesday the 4th ult. A very respectable Committee was appointed to consider what Measures were proper to be taken to vindicate the Character of the Town from the false and injurious Representations contained in several Letters, Memorials, &c. wrote by Governor Bernard, General Gage, Commodore Hood, the Commissioners, and others, to the Ministry; And at the Adjournment of said Meeting on Wednesday last, the Committee reported a Draft of an Appeal to the Impartial Public, in Answers thereto, which after being read, was unanimously accepted; but being too lengthy to be inserted in a News-Paper, it was ordered to be published in a Pamphlet.

Last Thursday was married at Col. Hatch’s Seat at Dorchester, Joshua Loring, Esq; eldest Son of Commodore Loring, to Miss Lloyd.

We hear from Providence, that Capt. Strange is arrived at that Place from a Whaling Voyage, having brought in upwards of 200 Barrels of Oil; during the Voyage Capt. Strange met with at Sea and took up, a Hogshead of West-India rum, which had been so long in the Water, the Barnacles were grown upon the Cask; the Rum was very good in Quality.”

Source:  Essex Gazette, October 24, 1769

Commentary: Elizabeth Lloyd may have spent part of her youth as an orphan in residence with her kinsman Dr. James Lloyd (1728-1810). Lloyd was a prominent physician in Boston and Joseph Warren’s mentor in medicine.  We can only imagine interactions between the tweenaged Elizabeth and Warren, then a medical apprentice resident in the Lloyd household from 1761-63. Circumstantial evidence fuels the salacious. “The ladies judged him [Warren] handsome,” opined early historian William Gordon. The young doctor may have been attracted to teenagers. His first spouse was barely seventeen at marriage in September 1764. Sally Edwards, a female whose obstetrical care he arranged secretly in 1775, may well have been an underage teen. Mrs. Loring’s later activities beg the question of what she was like as a girl. The paucity of  primary sources has deterred neither novelists nor historians from characterizing Mrs. Loring.

Sandwiched between news of political friction between Whigs and the colonial mother country, and a random encounter with a barrel of spirituous drink, Elizabeth’s marriage announcement to Joshua Loring, Jr. presents a curious aspect to hindsight-endowed modern readers.  The unrelated news accompanying the report of her nuptials appear as omens of her later notoriety as the alleged Loyalist mistress of General Howe during the New York campaign and British occupation of Philadelphia. Her husband Joshua Loring, Jr. (d. 1789) presumably was the willing cuckold.

No image of Elizabeth Lloyd Loring is publicly available. By permission of the The Dreamer artist Lora Innes,  the infamous Mrs. Loring appears here as the blonde bombshell femme fatale described by authors with overactive imaginations.

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